Dynamic Microfluidic Control of Supramolecular Peptide Self-Assembly

TitleDynamic Microfluidic Control of Supramolecular Peptide Self-Assembly
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsArnon Z.A, Vitalis A., Levin A., Michaels T.CT, Caflisch A., Knowles T.PJ, Adler-Abramovich L., Gazit E.
JournalNature Communications
Start Page13190
Date Published2016 Oct 25
Type of ArticleResearch Article
KeywordsABSINTH, aggregation, Computer Simulation, Diphenylalanine, Microfluidics, Nanotubes, Self-Assembly

The dynamic nature of supramolecular polymers has a key role in their organization. Yet, the manipulation of their dimensions and polarity remains a challenge. Here, the minimalistic diphenylalanine building block was applied to demonstrate control of nano-assemblies growth and shrinkage using microfluidics. To fine-tune differential local environments, peptide nanotubes were confined by micron-scale pillars and subjected to monomer flows of various saturation levels to control assembly and disassembly. The small-volume device allows the rapid adjustment of conditions within the system. A simplified kinetic model was applied to calculate parameters of the growth mechanism. Direct real-time microscopy analysis revealed that different peptide derivatives show unidirectional or bidirectional axial dimension variation. Atomistic simulations show that unidirectional growth is dictated by the differences in the axial ends, as observed in the crystalline order of symmetry. This work lays foundations for the rational control of nano-materials dimensions for applications in biomedicine and material science.



Alternate JournalNat. Commun.
PubMed ID27779182
PubMed Central IDPMC5093325
Highlight Role: 
Aggregation and Assembly